In case you haven’t figured it out yet, life is pretty short. I try to spend mine discovering anything and everything, big and small, bizarre and mundane.
No matter where I go—to and from work, out for a stroll behind my building, or walking through my neighborhood—I am constantly taking inventory. My eyes scan everything around me, detecting the least little speck of something out of place. (Ask Susanne—she’s witnessed me spotting the tiniest of things in the forest floor on many of our hikes together.)
So it was nothing new to go out for a walk to break up the work day only to find something completely new to me. The tiniest speck of orange in the grass caught my eye just behind the central HVAC units. Either damaged by a previous pass of the mower, or not fully emerged, it seemed to be a mutated orange dandelion. My curiosity went full-throttle, and would not rest until a later walk led me to hundreds more of this “rare” gem in an out-of-the way spot behind my building.
Long story short, it’s orange hawkeye, an invasive species that gets little love. I have no doubts that most will also call it an ugly weed. Perhaps I can relate a bit too much to the unwanted ugly outcast, but this might just be my new favorite wildflower!
Sure, I still appreciate the ordinary discoveries, like waiting almost a full year to know what flowers were planted all along my front porch. They were irises, something relatively new to me, though UD had a bluer variety here and there. I was also surprised last year to find fleabane just as plentiful in Vermont as it is in Delaware. There’s nothing wrong with an old stand-by, even in a world of discoveries!